What is in your pantry? When was the last time you went through and checked for stale, expired food? Every meal you prepare is usually affected by the pantry. A cluttered, possibly out of date pantry leads to wasted time and wasted money daily!
So, it is time to get it ship-shape! An organized pantry yields the following: using what have, saving money from duplicate purchases, no waste on expired products, saves time in gathering items for meal, independence for kids to grab things themselves and lastly; just a visually pleasing arrangement!
To achieve an organized pantry, follow these steps:
- Empty EVERYTHING!
- Wipe down and clean the pantry (who knows when this was last done).
- Consider painting it white or a light yellow to make things more visible.
- Go through each item and remove the expired products (the Food Bank will except items 18mos past the date except baby food/formula). Although I agree most things don’t “instantly” go bad but the truth is, you haven’t used it up to now and when will you do this whole process again??
- Purge out anything that does not look healthy, that is stale, that you will not eat!
- Sort like with like – the pasta and sauce together, the canned goods, the snacks and so on.
- Place items into the pantry taking into account the qty you typically have, how often you use that type of item and who will be reaching for it.
- Consider storing bulk items/ baking items in clear containers. Square containers take up less space than round ones and fit more efficiently.
- Some handy “tools” I always use in the pantry – stacking shelves so you get more surface to place items, lazy susans for spices or sauces, clear shoe organizers with the pockets mounted on doors to house snacks, small seasoning packets and the like, baskets/rectangular bins for items that you take out of boxes (I always take out bars and individually packaged items), binder clips as chip clips keep things really sealed and fresh.
- At a minimum, try and label each shelf with the types of items on that shelf. Whenever taking out a bulk item and placing in a container, you must label that container. If you change them often, consider the new Post-it’s that are full stick – they work great as labels.
- Consider mounting a clipboard with a pad in the pantry to write items that you run out of. Grab that list weekly and add it to the shopping list.
- Remember to rotate old items to the front to use before newer purchases.
- Maintain the homes of the items within the spot you have dedicated.
These steps will yield a pantry that will be organized and works like it should.
Go tackle yours today!